Aug. 13-16 2011

I wanted to practice for homelessness lest America faces a double-bip depression. What better way to do it than with a camping trip? What an economical way to see the country!

Sorry to start off on this note, but anyhow, this is after rounding Indianapolis and braving the construction gauntlet that dumped us here. We think this is west on US 136 (Crawfordsville Road), looping back under I-74/465. We had to use this because the exit to I-74 west was unexpectedly closed.

Continuing on US 136 at Waterfront Parkway.

Still on US 136 in Indianapolis, that rail overpass up ahead looks like it has a clearance of about 3 feet. But - as Doug Henning would say - it's just an illusion!

That cloud was likened to Bugs Bunny. This is on I-74 in Illinois, probably between Bloomington and Peoria.

I-474 is a freeway bypass on the south side of Peoria, and here it goes over the Illinois River. This bridge is the Shade-Lohmann Bridge, which opened in 1975.

We exit I-474 onto IL 116. The side road is for a settlement near Peoria called Norwood.

IL 116 near Hanna City. That white ball in the background makes it look like the ground is blowin' a bubble!

Another present from the prairie! This rail overpass is on IL 116 near St. Augustine.

It gets better! If your monitor is still bright enough, you may notice that the bridge clearance sign probably predates the hula hoop. This is the same overpass as the previous photo.

IL 96 in Dallas City. Tiny Dallas City has a high incidence of castle-like buildings like the one on the right.

The county line runs through Dallas City. Even the church on the left has a castle-like section.

IL 9 joins IL 96 in Dallas City. The building on the left also has some castle-style construction.

In this video, we cross the amazing Fort Madison Toll Bridge, which opened in 1927 and spans the Mississippi River to Fort Madison, Iowa. This bridge is a swinging truss - a type of drawbridge that opens up by swiveling on one of its columns. It's also a double decker - with road traffic on top and rail on the bottom. At this bridge, IL 9 becomes IA 2, though the span is owned by the railway. The gap in this clip is at the toll booth (because I didn't want to get skeeped at for filming the bridge). The toll only applies going east and reportedly does not apply to bicycles.

US 61/IA 2 in Fort Madison.

Crossing the Des Moines River on IA 2. We're looking upstream at some piers for a now-demolished bridge.

IA 2 just after the previous photo.

IA 2 near Bloomfield. (Is this also US 63?)

I'd say this gift is on IA 2 near West Grove.

I deduce that this is US 34 in Osceola, Iowa.

US 34 splitting into a divided highway near Red Oak, Iowa.

I-29 carries US 275 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. This is going north. Note that I-29 was reduced to an undivided highway here because of construction on the other side. Also, I-29 was completely closed not too far south of here because of record-setting floods on the Missouri River.

Looking east from I-29, a view of the ongoing flood conditions in the Missouri River valley.

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